A header is what goes over an opening in a wall, such as where a window, or door is to suppost the area above it
That's one type of header. Another type is in the floor where the joist is cut to create a opening between two or more joists to accomodate plumbing, stairs, etc. The cut joist or joists is/are called tail joists and the perpendicular support that each tail joist attaches to is called a header.
Blocking on the other hand is placed between two joints to keep the abutting joists standing vertical. In this case no joist is cut.
While I agree hangers would be best, at the cost other alternatives may also work.
One example is you could make your own hanger by drilling the supporting joints.
attaching a two by four with carriage bolts. and then resting the header on the two by four support. Lags screws are another option. Nails will even work.
My objective in posting this thread is to get some feedback from others who have worked with larger size lumber or do timber framing to see what is the "best"
alternative if hangers are not used!